I was right about Flower. And I’m glad I was the only one in the house when the episode aired, not because I wept with despair (I didn’t), but because when we all watched it together the following day, Alan was disrespectful. He hates sentimentalizing wild animals, even though, to my mind, “Meerkat Manor” hits more notes in tune than out. And so, when a litter of three pups from the Zappa clan was introduced, named Axl, Slash and Rose, he wanted to know why they they weren’t named Axl, Slash and Duff.

“Because obviously they had a female pup and they needed a female name,” I said. “Now shut up.”

But no. Last year he made the paper’s TV writer say nooooo and hold her hands over her ears when he told her the season finale would include heartbreaking footage of Flower being run over by the research team’s Land Rover. That’s not how it went — Flower was bitten by a cobra while bravely trying to defend her litter — but Alan prefers his version, and openly speculated that’s what really happened, and the whole snake story was trumped up to cover the Land Rover’s tracks, so to speak.

Then we saw a heartbreaking final shot of Flower dying, her head swollen like a rotten melon. “She could probably breathe easier without that radio collar,” he said. I swear.

If I were a meerkat dominant female, I don’t think he’d be allowed to pick my fleas for a while.

However, I’m not a meerkat dominant female, I’m a suburban mother who must take a shower and be prepared to take her offspring to the orthodontist, where I will buy more rubber bands to sell on the street sit reading in the waiting room for the next hour or so. More in a bit.

Posted at 7:18 am in Same ol' same ol', Television |

14 responses to “Finale.”

  1. Connie said on October 1, 2007 at 9:27 am

    I have finally escaped those expensive years of orthodontia. Our orthodontist’s brother was the oral surgeon we used (twice) and we used to claim we were trapped in the Burns Brother’s money machine. My experience also included orthognathic surgery, an experience I would not wish anyone’s child. Wishing you the best. Does she get to pick new colors every time?

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  2. LA mary said on October 1, 2007 at 9:32 am

    Don’t know about you, but those hours in the waiting room give me my fill of People and Us magazines.

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  3. cce said on October 1, 2007 at 10:49 am

    Haven’t been following the Meerkat drama but can totally appreciate your frustration with Allen. My Better Half would certainly make the same snide, I’m not sad because I have a Y chromosome, kind of comments.
    As for teeth and orthodontia. Yuck. We are still a few steps behind you but already experiencing the distinct hell that is a child’s dental bills.

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  4. brian stouder said on October 1, 2007 at 10:52 am

    Well, I noticed that Falling Man plummeted off the Nightstand; and the link to The Assassins Gate is interesting. When I was a New Yorker subscriber*, Packer’s writing always impressed me, and indeed this book looks like a good first draft on early 21st century American history.

    So now I have a book to snap up, which is yet another wonderful benefit of being an nn.c reader.

    *whenever I get dragooned into buying a magazine subscription (from a niece or nephew), The New Yorker is the first thing to search for

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  5. nancy said on October 1, 2007 at 12:58 pm

    Brian, you’ll find “The Assassin’s Gate” a nice companion piece to “The Looming Tower,” only with Paul Wolfowitz in the Osama bin Laden role.

    Which is not to say it’s a psycho hit piece, only that it’s a pretty credible account of the dangers of hubris. The author supported the war and regime change, by the way.

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  6. Dorothy said on October 1, 2007 at 2:51 pm

    Both of my kids had braces and it seemed like it went on forever. Palate expanders, braces, head gear, you name it – we had them! I think we had $800 in benefits for each child from my husband’s employer, which helped but certainly did not take care of all of it. I rarely took part in the waiting room magazines – I’d either bring my own book or something to stitch (quilt or crochet project).

    When my daughter got her braces off (same day as her first high school dance – what a bonus!!), they made such a big deal. Gave her roses, took her picture, etc. And they handed me two movie passes and a small bottle of champagne for my husband and I. I said “Geez Doc, you guys think of everything! Where’s the key to the hotel room for Mike and I?!?” It was fun to make the orthodontist blush!

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  7. brian stouder said on October 1, 2007 at 3:09 pm

    It was news to me that although the braces eventually come off, the retainer remains as a nightly ritual (although thinking about it, that certainly makes sense)

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  8. Rana said on October 1, 2007 at 4:13 pm

    It was news to me that although the braces eventually come off, the retainer remains as a nightly ritual

    Delurking to say, YEP! If you don’t wear it, the teeth may just well go back to being crooked. (Sorry, Mom and Dad!)

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  9. LA mary said on October 1, 2007 at 5:54 pm

    What is the Detroit street value of a little baggie of tiny rubber bands these days?

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  10. Julie Robinson said on October 1, 2007 at 7:09 pm

    Yes, the orthodontist tells them to wear that retainer every night for the rest of their lives. Which neither of my kids do, but I figure they get to pay the bill the second time.

    One of my childhood friends wore braces for six long years and finally got them off for high school graduation. But a few years ago she moved and saw a new dentist, who immediately asked if she’d ever considered orthodontia. She almost smacked him.

    Our son needs his wisdom teeth pulled, but our new dental insurance won’t pay til we’ve been insured for 12 months, after which time they pay 50%. I haven’t even asked how much it’s going to cost.

    But I sure like the idea of that debit card for your FSA, Nancy. Currently I have to save all the receipts and fax them in. Then they mail a check and I have to actually visit the credit union in person to deposit it. Boy is that inconvenient.

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  11. basset said on October 1, 2007 at 9:05 pm

    I Googled “orthognathic surgery” just now, the first reference was to a doctor not far from Nance with a webpage that just doesn’t work at ALL… pictures of the woods and flowers around his building, pictures of the sign out front, and lots of little tiny type.

    what I want to see on a page like that is a picture, hell, a 3D animation, of the big jar of weapons-grade anesthetics he’s gonna knock me out with. for, oh, a couple weeks or so.

    spending your developmental years going to forearm-across-your-collarbones-shut-up-that-doesn’t-hurt dentists will do that to you.

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  12. alex said on October 1, 2007 at 11:11 pm

    Mine weren’t ready to come off when face-suckin’ time began, but they did. The retainer? Who knows where it went. At forty-six the Doll’s still got some fine-ass choppers. Sans Hollywood veneers but who’s complainin’? The once-winkin’ incisors blend in like a Southern Baptist fag.

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  13. Dorothy said on October 2, 2007 at 8:14 am

    Daughter’s original retainer got chewed up by our dog before she finished high school. We paid to buy a replacement, and she did wear it. But during one of our moves it got lost. We just found it when packing to move back to Ohio a month or so ago. Dust covered and icky. So we pitched it. $200 or so down the drain!

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  14. Jo Stanchin said on October 2, 2007 at 9:42 am

    I am the only one I know around here that has been following meercat manor.I started my interest when our zoo aquired a
    group of meercats,and I just thought they were cool.I too cried
    when Flower died,especially after she allowed another tribes pup
    into their fold. Also have a husband not into getting in touch with his feminine side(the ones with emotions).Have two grown sons who both went through extensive orthodontia,but they
    are now grown men with great smiles.We celebrated the last visit with the youngest with a vacation.

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